The original pedal powered hull-less hydrofoil, the "Flying Fish": The flying fish video is from Mark Drela's Decavitator website, now only available via the WaybackMachine: http://web.archive.org/web/20051218183752/lancet.mit.edu/decavitator/VideoClips.ff.htmlhttp://members.aol.com/jfreeent/hf.htm says:"The first ...
This was the first human powered hydrofoil. The name means "water strider", the waterbug that scampers on the surface of the water: From http://www.human-powered-hydrofoils.com/history.html:" This is the first ...
The "Aquaskipper" is a human powered hydrofoil made by Inventist.com . It's similar to the original Swedish Trampofoil, which is no longer available. There's also one called the "Pumpabike" from South Africa.
They're also called "hull-less watercraft" and "flapping wing propulsion vessels". You bounce up and down to make the wing fly and propel you. If you stop you fall into the water and swim back to the dock. It's completely ridiculous and works really well once you get the hang of it.
It's hard to do at first but that seems to make it even more fun. Here's what learning looks like:
(After a few days we got a lot better) Here's Kenny teaching Caglar the starting position.
An ipod formatted copy of the AquaSkipping video can be downloaded here.
Find a good place to launch. What you want is a dock a foot or so above the water. You want water at least 6.5 feet deep according to the manual. Decide which of your legs is stronger. That's your "pushing foot". Stand on the side of the dock with the ball of that foot hanging over the edge of the dock. That's so you'll be able to push off forcefully without your foot slipping. Rest the rear crossbar of the Aquaskipper on the toes of that foot to keep it from dropping into the water. Rock forward until the Aquaskipper's front foil is level on the water and step aboard with your other foot. Lunge yourself and the aquaskipper forward, pushing with your back foot as hard as you possibly can. Then start bouncing. These two diagrams from the Inventist website show what happens to the gizmo when you bounce. In the "down" part of the stroke the suspension is compressed and the back foil dives. In the 'up" part of the stroke the spring straightens out, the wing swoops up in the water and you glide forward. It's not automatic, you have to learn the skill. It's hard to describe the motion. It helps to watch the videos many times and have a lot of friends around to make suggestions.
After a week or so of practice you'll be a skillful expert like the folks in the following video. It shows Aquaskippers, Trampofoils, and other humanpowered hydrofoils at the European Sprint races in 2006: